What You Should Know About Firing Employees

If you are thinking about firing one of your employees, there are a few things you should know first. There are some legal and financial implications of firing employees, not to mention certain employee protections inherent in their employment. Wrongful employee termination can have detrimental consequences to your business.  Consider these factors before you go through the firing process.

Find Another Place in the Company

Before firing an employee, consider if there is a better fit for them elsewhere in your company. It may be that you are letting them go because they are not performing well enough in — or suited for — the position they were hired for. In this case, and when you have no other employee constraints, it can be worth it to find them another position. At the very least, you can offer them another position and find out if they accept it or not.

Avoiding Discrimination

An employee that believes they will were wrongly fired won’t hesitate to sue you for wrongful termination. It is important that when determining your reasons for letting an employee go, you make sure there is absolutely no discrimination involved. You can legally fire an employee due to lack of proper performance after adequate training, illegal actions, or conduct against company’s policies. However, you cannot fire an employee for their national origin, religion, race, color, disability, or gender.

Approve Termination by Upper Management

Before you fire an employee, get approval from upper management. While you and your HR staff might have approval to fire employees for legitimate reasons, it is still a good idea to discuss it with upper management beforehand.

Offer an Exit Interview

The exit interview is an essential part of terminating an employee. It helps you with your business in getting honest feedback, even more so than employees who are leaving on their own accord. Employees being fired have a tendency to be more blunt and honest, not holding back when you ask their opinions about the company, operations, or their supervisors. It is a valuable resource if the employee agrees to do it.

Do it Legally

Lastly, be sure you are following all of your company’s guidelines for terminating an employee. This might include putting the employee on probation and plans for improvement to enable the employee an opportunity to improve. Get approval from upper management and HR, as they have specific procedure for firing an employee before letting them go permanently. As long as you have suitable reason to fire them and proceed through the right steps, it should minimize issues, such as a wrongful termination suit,  that come up later on.

Aside from following these tips for firing an employee legally, always have protection from an employment practices liability insurance policy as well.